Heat Rising in US Senate as Franken Refuses to Give Joe Lieberman an Extra Moment


This may not seem like a big deal to many, but as one who watches Senate process closely, I believe that this seemingly minor exchange is a symptom of how stressed the US Senate is regarding health care reform and Senator Joseph Lieberman‘s role.
Minnnesota Senator Al Franken shut down Lieberman who wanted a “moment” to finish his remarks and asked “unanimous consent” to be able to do so.
Franken refused to play along.
— Steve Clemons


10 comments on “Heat Rising in US Senate as Franken Refuses to Give Joe Lieberman an Extra Moment

  1. David says:

    Florida Democrats, with Lawton Chiles as a guiding figure, set in motion public high school based health outreach in some North Florida counties. While I no longer remember many of the detais, it was to be, in essence, public health outreach, especially for teens, but also for all those in need. When Bob Martinez, the former Democrat who became a Reagan Republican, was elected governor, he killed it because it was “socialistic.” Gee, I wonder why I feel such contempt for the Republican mindset?


  2. Outraged American says:

    US south is calling in Iran to talk about redesigning our health
    care,yet the DcAviv Bozos want to bomb Iran.
    We do live in upside down world.
    From the Times UK via antiwar.com
    December 20, 2009
    Deep South calls in Iran to cure its health blues
    In ground-breaking project, one of America’s poorest
    communities is turning to the Middle East (IRAN NOT ISRAEL) to
    try to resolve its crisis
    The idea of looking for solutions in Iran emerged when James
    Miller, a consultant based in Mississippi, was called in to advise
    a rural hospital in financial difficulty. He was shocked to find
    that the state had the third highest medical expenditure per
    capita, but came last in terms of outcome.
    Miller, managing director of Oxford International Development
    Group, remembered a conference in Europe where Iranian
    officials had explained how their country had revolutionised its
    healthcare system.
    Facing shortages of money and trained doctors at the start of
    the Iran-Iraq war in 1980, the new government launched a
    system based on community “health houses”, each serving about
    1,500 people.
    Locals were trained as health workers known as behvarz, who
    would travel their area, dispensing advice about healthy eating,
    sanitation and contraception as well as monitoring blood
    pressure and conditions such as diabetes.
    It was a stunning success, reducing child mortality rates by 69%
    and maternal mortality in rural areas from 300 per 100,000
    births to 30. There are now 17,000 health houses in Iran,
    covering more than 90% of its rural population of 23m.
    Miller contacted Shirley, who is seen as a community health
    pioneer in Mississippi and had recently converted a deserted
    shopping centre in Jackson into a “medical mall” for the poor.
    “I thought if the Iranians could do it with a fraction of resources
    we have, then why shouldn’t we?” said Shirley.
    An Iranian doctor helped them make contact with Shiraz
    University, which manages more than 1,000 health houses and
    trains healthcare workers.
    Shirley and Miller visited Iran in May and were astonished to be
    welcomed with open arms. When they went to remote villages to
    see the health houses, the Iranians were equally amazed.
    “They told us this is a miracle,” said Miller. “Not only were
    Americans coming here, but also they were learning from us
    rather than telling us what to do.”
    One villager exclaimed: “We always knew rain fell down but never
    knew it could fall up.”
    They signed an agreement with Shiraz University to form the
    Mississippi/Islamic Republic of Iran rural health project and
    applied to the US Treasury for a special licence for “Iranian


  3. pauline says:

    The Connecticut Liarman may not even have the actual vote of a majority in that state. With all the electronic voting corruption Brad Friedman has documented so well at his bradblog.com site, ES&S, Diebold have the Liarmans of Congress from doing anything to correct this menacing condition to the health of our democratic republic.
    Even though requested by many TWN readers over the years, this subject has been avoided as much as any news about Sibel Edmonds.
    From some really unknown reasons, many critical topics that can be directly linked to US foreign policy never get the light of day at TWN.
    see —


  4. Rose Hunter says:

    Michael Moore has started a boycott of all things Conn. in punishment for Mr. LIEberman. I’m a liberal Jew,and I loath Mr. LIEberman.


  5. TonyForesta says:

    Any time any American hear the nazi’s in the gop whine and cry about “collegiality, or comity, or civility, – the automatic response should be peels of uproarious laughter, followed by mocking rebuke, followed then by a long and putrid list of gop besmirchings and scurrilous slanders of everything democratic and Constitutional, and against anyone and anything that does not walk in lockstep unision with the fascists in the gop.
    Bravo Franklin for being perhaps the SINGLE democrat with the courage to stand up against and silence the lying conniving thieving corporatist Americanpeoplehating, oligarchloving, fascists in the gop.
    A pox on the thieves swindlers, reprobates, and in Lieberman’s case traitorous LIARS in the gop
    May they rot in hell.
    Bravo Franklin!!!
    If only Obama and the democratic leadership had such courage.
    Bravo Franklin!!


  6. Outraged American says:

    62.1% of 2007 US bankruptcies were due to medical reasons
    according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.
    Corporate Greed Vs American’s Health
    h/t InformationClearinghouse.info (GREAT SITE!)
    Most medical debtors were well educated, were homeowners and
    had good jobs. Three quarters among them had health
    insurance. In spite of that, in 92% of cases high medical bills
    contributed to their bankruptcy. The JAMA study estimates that
    since 2001, the proportion of all bankruptcies attributed to
    medical problems has increased by 50%. In addition, 1.5 million
    families in the U.S. lose their homes to foreclosure every year
    due to unaffordable medical cost, according to a 2008 study.
    Whole article


  7. John Waring says:

    The initial harbinger of fecklessness to come was the refusal on the part of the Democrats to discipline Joe Lieberman after his sorry behavior during the election.
    Rachel Maddow eviscerated the man on one of her segments just after the election. Does anybody have a link? It was a classic.


  8. DonS says:

    Too many Senators cling to the anachronistic notion of the Senate.
    If Franken can, even for a minute, seem to represent the rage many feel at the irrelevance of the US Senate to address the problems facing this country — more to the point, the Senate’s role in perpetuating problems rather than meaningfully working on them — then good on Franken.
    As to Lieberman, the man is beyond contempt and, were revolution by the masses hurt by his treachery in the air, a trip to the gallows might wipe the smirk off his self satisfied face.


  9. Outraged American says:

    Informative article on Lieberman & his and wifes’ extensive ties
    to the insurance industry from the UK Guardian.
    Bitter, Zionist double agent, tool — Lieberman needs to make
    aliyah now.
    Why Joe Lieberman is holding Barack Obama to ransom over
    Some of Lieberman’s critics see his stance on healthcare as
    shaped by his acceptance of more than $1m in campaign
    contributions from the medical insurance industry during his 21
    years in the Senate. The blocking of public-run competition is a
    huge relief to an industry that has been increasing premiums far
    ahead of costs and making huge profits while individuals are
    bankrupted by chronic illnesses. Many of the medical insurance
    companies are based in Lieberman’s home state.
    Lieberman vigorously denies that campaign money influences
    his votes, and he is far from alone in accepting money from
    vested interests. But it has raised questions as to why insurance
    companies donate to Lieberman’s campaign if they are not
    buying influence.
    It has also not gone unnoticed that Lieberman’s wife, Hadassah,
    works for a major lobbying firm as its specialist on health and
    pharmaceuticals. She previously worked at drug companies such
    as Pfizer and Hoffmann-La Roche.
    Whole article


  10. Linda says:

    At this point I think the Senate should get rid of seniority rules (and many of its other ones) or reverse them and make Franken majority leader.
    I hsppened to turn on C-Span at 1 a.m. this morning to watch the total farce of the Senate doing nothing but follow its rules and thus spend last evening and all day today so that they can vote at 7:30 a.m. merely on a continuing resolution to fund DOD.
    Both parties just play games with each other, and that little Franken-Lieberman moment was not very important really except to people inside the Beltway, and those who used to work at the Senate.
    So, Steve, I wish you would comment more on how dysfunctional the entire Congress is.
    I don’t recall exactly from 1965, but I don’t think Medicare was even 100 pages long, considerably less than that. Health care reform should have been written as several bills, and bills should be on one subject–not full of “poison pills” (even when not about prescription drugs) and unrelated amendments.
    For decades it has been impossible for the average citizen to understand how Congress works, and now it’s impossible for even the well informed to understand.
    But the worse part is that now even members of Congress don’t know what is in them. But one thing we can be sure of, regardless of party, the special interests are the ones who write the legislation and with whom deals are made.
    And I’m betting that Joe Lieberman will continue like this until 2012 when he will announce that he isn’t going to run for re-election. Until then, Congress and the country will be stuck with him.
    For decades, Ethics Committees in Congress have been weak and dysfunctional, no matter which party is in power.


Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *